Don’t Step on the Crack!

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Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Don’t step on the crack, you’ll break your mothers back. Don’t step on the crack, you’ll break your mothers back, don’t step……” Remember repeating that over and over again as you paced all up and down the  sidewalks?  For our family, it was a novelty to walk on city sidewalks because we lived in a wooded suburb. When we went to the city being able to sketch on pavement with chalk or to draw out a hopscotch course, we thought was pretty “nifty.”

When we visited our grandparents in Baltimore City, we got to do all kinds of things that we couldn’t do at our house. At home, our playground was the forest and stream. At least an acre or more of land separated the neighbors. At our grandparents, we thought it was pretty neat that we could sit in rocking chairs on a  porch and politely greet passers by.

The ragman  I can still remember the voice and the words of the Ragman’s banter as he navigated the horse and cart down the city streets of Baltimore. “Rags! Rags for sale! Come get your rags.”  Hearing the clip-clop of the horses feet coming down the street, was so exciting. The rag man called out, “New rags for old. Give me yours, and I’ll give you another.” Recycling, I assure you is not a new concept.

All in good jest, my parents used to threaten to sell or trade us to the Ragman if my sister, my brothers and I didn’t behave ourselves. That was enough to make us sit up and pay attention!

If you are a baby boomer, you might have recollections of having the Ragman arrive in your neighborhood and seeing people run out in the street to greet him and check out his wares.

Do you know the origins of the Ragman story? Here’s a link, you can read it for yourself. I found it quite interesting because as a child, the only thing I was interested in was seeing the big horse (usually an old gray mare) pulling the cart down the street. Little did I know there was an inspirational story behind The Ragman.  Check  it out! http://www.inspirationalarchive.com/573/ragman/.

In 2010, Walter Wagernan’s short story The Ragman was produced into a movie. Click on the link if for more information and ordering the DVD Ragman.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author and narrator of the memoir Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Now available in audio book.  Click here to listen to the audio book sample, narrated by the author

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Mark your Calendar, Hon!

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The universe is but one great city, full of beloved ones, divine and human, by nature endeared to each other. ~ Epictetus

Mark your calendars, right now! The 2014 Bawlmer Hon Fest is coming up in less than a month. This year it is June 14th and June 15th. It’s a whole weekend dedicated to the culture that I grew up on the outskirts of,  in the mid-Atlantic city of Baltimore. People like to poke fun over it’s regional subculture in self-deprecating humor.

Don’t know what I am talking about? The movie Hairspray with John Travolta will give you insight into what I am talking about. It’s hard to explain but once you are immersed in the jest, you’d quickly get it. It’s all about fun and fortune of being among friends or close family, hon, and speaking the same language.

That’s all I’m sayin’ except that the influences are there, in my memoir. I’ll say no more. I don’t want to get myself in trouble. Here are some pictures that might explain a little to outsiders.

 

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VIDEO OPTION: We're looking at the turnout for Honfest. Who's there? What are they doing? Do they really care about the HONtroversy?

HONFEST C KAWAJIRI

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This blog brought to you by Sue BattonLeonard, the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.Sue’s memoir

Come on back tomorrow, hon, I’ll be sharing some more childhood memories from living in Baltimore, Maryland.

 

Telling Family Secrets

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I take pleasure in my transformations. I look quiet and consistent, but few know how many women there are in me.” ~ Anaïs Nin

It’s family secret day on All Things Fulfilling and I have a confession to make about one of my siblings~

I swear my little brother chose his friends according to who’d step in and clean his room for him. He is not generally known as a people user but, he always got his friends to help him out in  “clean the room department.” And he never had to do anything to correct his shortcomings because of it.

When my sister or I, or one of his friends, felt sorry for him because he was grounded once again due to his messy bedroom, we’d pitch in and help him clean up the mess. Then guess who got praised and lauded?  Yep – you guessed it, my little brother, for having fulfilled his chores list! Not the ones who helped him out of the dog house.

One day, I got caught standing in for my brother while I was cleaning up his mess. The stellar character that you will learn about in my memoir, who taught me some very useful and wonderful lessons about life, scolded me and said:

You and yo’ brother needs ta have a come to jesus meetin’ over you always having ta do his chores. He aint doin’ doodlie squat. That ain’t right. You ain’t doin’ him no favors by helpin’ him out neither. He’s gots ta learn all by his self.”  

 I had never heard that expression “have a come to Jesus meeting” until she used it. It delighted me, made me giggle. Every time I hear the expression now, as an adult, it tickles my funny bone all over again. 

girls telling secretsPerhaps if you have brothers or sisters, you can relate to having to do their chores. Was there someone in your family who always pulled the weight?

Have you ever been caught in a difficult position by sharing a family secret?

Listen Up! Tomorrow is Holy Experiment Day. You don’t believe me? Google it! Come back tomorrow because we will announcing a contest that will give you a chance of winning a free copy of my upcoming publication, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. My prayer is that just the right person wins it! Don’t miss out.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Harvesting Fall Films

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“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Harvest the movie0With fall upon us, we are entering into a season where nights are getting longer and colder, so we spend more reading and film viewing.

Harvest, a 2010 movie release, is about relationships, and coming to terms with the past, the immediate and the future as changes in family dynamics affect everyone involved. Issues of both aging and coming of age will be relatable to many viewers. The challenges, with both, put focus on the meaning of  family  making the story “undeniably heartfelt,” according to Newsday. The lovely seaside setting adds to the overall beauty of the movie.

Harvest has gathered many awards in it’s basket from some very prestigious film festivals. To read the full summary of the movie , go to http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1302001/.  The film can be ordered from the Internet Movie Database also.

Harvest_keyArtWant an educational alternative with an adult subject?  Check out this award-winning, independent documentary about harvesting grapes and winemaking in the Sonoma Valley. Harvest: The Blood, Sweat and Tears that Go into Every Bottle might better satisfy your tastes in movies. http://www.harvestmovie.com/

This weekend may be a good time to visit a local orchard to harvest the fruit of the season. Come home and heat up some mulled cider, bake a fresh apple pie, then relax and enjoy one of these movies with your family or your friends – because they are family also!

No matter how you decide to spend your weekend, make it fulfilling!  And do return on Monday. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Gift of an Angel

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a life lived There is a blog that I encountered over the weekend that I feel deserves very special attention. I hope you will take the time to visit it because it is filled with beautiful images and a beautiful story. It is written by a mom, who was given a gift from God, and out of her realization of what that gift has meant to her, she has created an inspiring and peaceful space on the world-wide-web. It is a place where people can perhaps come to terms with the challenges that they face in their lives and maybe put things in perspective about finding personal fulfillment.

Laughing with Angels is about finding loveliness in the home and family. Artful living.  ‘Nuff said. I hope you will take the time to visit the site, and please read what inspired the name of the blog, Laughing with Angels. http://bit.ly/13Fc0JI.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. Have a great day, everybody. Please return tomorrow for more of All Things Fulfilling!

Skillfully Delivered

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Blessed are the ears of those who hear the pulse of the divine whisperer…”
~Thomas Kempis

I’ve had a fabulous summer so far. It’s been filled with business, checking out local art scenes in different places, meeting artists, including writers I have never met before, and best of all, the opportunity to spend cherished time with family.  Yet, one Sunday morning in my travels, I awoke and finally identified something that had been quietly nagging at me. I realized I missed a message of inspiration that I find each week at the United Methodist Church of Steamboat. “Time,” I thought, “to do something about it.”

I visited the diminutive United Methodist Church on remote Taylors Island, Maryland http://bit.ly/1bIYSIl and came out feeling uplifted, almost giddy . The sermon was as fine as I’ve heard anywhere, and it was the kind of inspiration yours truly needed at that moment. The Reverend’s well-delivered words included a message about God’s relationship to people in the business of trying to live up to their full potential. It was the fifth sermon in the series on “Living the Successful Life,” called Faith is a Dynamo. The Rev. Dr. Robert Kirkley spoke about how “God is in the business of success and blessings,” but we must do our part also. He reassured the people that if we ascribe to the principles of Jack Welsh and add God to our lives, we will find success. As someone who has read books on Welsh’s leadership, I tuned in immediately. The message was skillfully and clearly delivered and at the end of his sermon, I felt spiritually renewed. I will be sharing more fulfilling things that came about in my visit to a church outside of my own community in future blog writings.

We often discover new things when we step outside the box, and change-up our routine. Over the coming  month or so, there will be big changes coming to All Things Fulfilling. I am very excited and will be working hard to give this site an updated look while keeping the disruption to a minimum.

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This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com

Skipping Around with Images

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Each one sees what one carries in the heart” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The assimilation process of language is interesting. It reminds me how important it is that parents watch their words to their children. One never knows what will come back to us from our offspring.  Words of beauty, compassion and understanding, are better echoed by our children than words of hatred and intolerance. To learn more about language assimilation of children, please read this article http://bit.ly/133mukU.

I come by my interest in flowers and gardening, naturally, through my parents. I never realized how much knowledge  I had assimilated about flowers in my formative years until I married a man whose father was a landscaper. Garden talk automatically became common lingo in our household when our lives converged. I am both surprised and delighted when our son whips out names of familiar flowers that have grown in our gardens. He has naturally ingested the names of many species.

I know what you are thinking. “Sue sure has gone out on a tangent this morning – Odd! Where is this subject matter coming from?”I am using stream of consciousness writing, today. http://bit.ly/117U99S.  A beautiful flower that I photographed at my parents house  started me down this path of thought.

This flower, digitalis (better known as foxglove) has always been present in my garden. But the blossom pictured, is the most beautiful of its kind I have ever seen. It could serve as a specimen plant because it is particularly noteworthy and deserves “center stage.” The stem is as wide as three stems fused together, and unusually flat shaped – a real treasure. Without the abnormally shaped stem, the heavy and enormous flower would topple over! When I saw it, it made my heart skip a beat.

Those are my fulfilling independent thoughts, words and views from www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com today. Come back tomorrow, perhaps my writing will be more cohesive.

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Photo 1: Check out the triple width stem of the unusually formed digitalis.

Photo in Middle:  Three ordinary foxglove (digitalis) and one hefty, atypical plant

Photo 3: Close up of atypical specimen of digitalis.

To read more about this species of flower, digitalis, please go to .http://bit.ly/11aZikG.